Bangladesh’s passport has been ranked the world’s ninth least powerful, while New Zealand tops the list as most powerful, according to the Global Passport Power Rank 2020.
Last year, Bangladesh had scored 50 and finished 23 notches higher.
The score represents access to any country without a visa or under the provision of on-arrival visas.
Canada-based global citizenship financial advisory firm Arton Capital conducts the ranking, which is one of the several indices measuring the amount of visa-free world travel.
The index involves the 193 United Nations member countries and six territories.
Various factors influence the ranking, including a mobility score, visa requirements, electronic travel authorization, and a world openness score. Covid-19 measures and restrictions played a crucial role in the rankings this year.
India scored 52 to land in 58th position along with four other nations.
New Zealand secured the top position with visa-free access to 129 countries, followed by Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Ireland, South Korea, Japan, and Australia– all scoring 128.
Sweden, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, and Spain jointly took the third spot, while the UK joined the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland, and Canada as the fourth most powerful passports.
The US ranked joint 21st alongside Malaysia, with visa-free access to 52 countries and visa-on-arrival for 40 destinations.
Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which have a score of just 31, are at the bottom of the list with Syria (34), Somalia (35), and Yemen (36) just above them.
What the ranking says
Despite the high volatility of passport power throughout the past year, the Passport Index has updated passport rankings in real-time, displaying the true effect of the pandemic on passport rankings.
According to the data, temporary travel bans and visa restrictions led many countries that once held a powerful passport to now be ranked amongst the lowest in the world.
The Passport Index also shows the clear influence of the pandemic with its World Openness Score (WOS), the benchmark of open travel between countries.
Since its inception in 2015, the WOS has continued to increase at an average rate of 6% per year, reaching an all-time world openness of 54% in December 2019.
Once the pandemic hit, temporary entry bans and border closures resulted in a staggering decrease in the WOS, dropping 65% within weeks, although active visa agreements were not changed.
Most powerful passports
1. New Zealand
2. Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, South Korea, Japan, Australia
3. Sweden, Belgium, France, Finland, Italy, Spain
4. UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland, Canada
5. Malta, Slovenia, Latvia
6. Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Liechtenstein
8. Cyprus, Croatia, Monaco
9. Romania, Bulgaria
10. San Marino, Andorra, Uruguay
Least powerful passports
1. Afghanistan, Iraq
5. Iran, Palestinian Territories
7. Myanmar, North Korea
8. Ethiopia, Lebanon, Libya, Nepal, Eritrea
9. Bangladesh, South Sudan
Bangladesh’s passport/Report/Dhaka tribune